Herbalists in Acoli Sub region have submitted 40 potential herbal remedies for Covid-19 to Gulu University Pharm-Bio Technology Traditional Medicine Center (Pharmbiotrac) of Excellence, for testing.
Dr. Alice Veronica Lamwaka a senior lecturer at the Faculty of Bio-Technology and Pharmaceutical Studies, also the center head at Pharmbiotec told URN in an interview on Friday that the herbs were not taken at the Natural Chemotherapeutics Research Center, NCRI, for studying and analysis, because Gulu University has a well-equipped laboratory to do the testing and analysis of the herbs.
In June 2020, herbalists all over the country submitted 300 herbal remedies to NCRI, for analysis. However, Dr. Lamwaka says they could not submit theirs to NCRI, because most of the medicine submitted to NCRI are available in Acholi subregion, and have been used for years.
Dr. Lamwaka says the herbs were tested for presence of active ingredients (phytochemicals) such as alkaloids or flavonoids, and what diseases each of these active ingredients treat.
The tests also included knowing which extraction methods given the best results, and which part of particular plant; bark, flowers, leaves or roots, has more of the active ingredient required to treat the disease.
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Dr. Lamwaka however, says the herbal remedies have not been subjected to a clinical trial because the university lacks the funds to do so, unless supported by government. A clinical trial is a procedure designed by World Health Organization, WHO, to practically prove or show that a certain health remedy works.
Dr. Lamwaka reveals that the herbs have so far been used by more than 200 clients in Acholi region, since Covid-19 was reported in Uganda.